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Ceci set to rubber stamp higher royalty rates: Wildrose

EDMONTON, AB (July 27, 2015): Finance Minister Joe Ceci needs to explain why the NDP government is planning to boost royalty rates before the pending royalty review has even started, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.

In an interview with Rick Bell of the Calgary Sun, Ceci is quoted saying a new royalty scheme could help pay for escalating costs and deficits under the NDP government.

“Since the NDP have already pre-determined the outcome, this royalty review will not be independent or fair,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “When the price of oil is below $50 a barrel, and energy companies are struggling, it’s incredible to think the NDP are still thinking of more ways to take money out of the economy.”

According to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, recently announced taxes and new regulations will add $800 million in costs to Alberta’s energy industry over the next two years. Energy companies have already recorded thousands of job losses over the past several weeks.

Wildrose Finance Shadow Minister Derek Fildebrandt said the government rubber stamping higher royalty rates will only do more damage to the economy.

“Higher business taxes, higher personal taxes, higher carbon taxes, hostility towards pipelines and a 50 per cent increase to the minimum wage have all created uncertainty. The NDP have at least created certainty for industry by tipping them off that royalties are going up, and the ‘review panel’ is nothing but window dressing,” Fildebrandt said. “At some point, the government must realize that piling on more taxes, higher royalties, and more regulations will eventually have negative economic outcomes.”